Golfito & Casa Orquideas

Mar 23, 2018 - National Geographic Quest

On our first day in Costa Rica, we visited the little bay of Golfito and its surrounding mangrove forest, by kayak and by Zodiac. 

Exploring this important ecosystem, we found many bird species that make it their home, such as the green heron and the green kingfisher. However, the highlights were a troop of howler monkeys resting high on the forest canopy, and a slow-moving three-toed sloth that seemed to be looking for a shortcut to make it to another tree. 

In the afternoon we visited the Casa Orquideas botanical garden to explore by foot the perfectly groomed property. Ron and Trudy McAllister, the owners and creators of this magnificent garden, greeted us upon arrival. 

Casa Orquideas with its large collection of palms, spices, fruits and flowers of all sizes and colors is a perfect example of all the diversity the tropics have to offer. Many beautiful and colorful birds also visited the garden from the nearby tropical rainforest: tanagers, flycatchers, toucans, and scarlet macaws, among others.

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About the Author

José Calvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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